21 July 2024

Opinion: Infrastructure upgrades for Waikato region

Investment to benefit future generations, says Strange

By: Jamie Strange

Infrastructure investment is vital to keep our country moving forward. We rely on our roading and rail networks to move freight to markets, travel to visit loved ones, and keep our economy strong. Our children and grandchildren learn better in healthy classrooms, and when we’re sick, we depend on modern, fit-for-purpose hospitals to get back on our feet again.

The Govt. recently announced its $12 billion Infrastructure Upgrade Programme – the largest investment in New Zealand’s infrastructure in a generation.

Through this programme, we’re investing significantly in our roads, rail, public transport, schools and hospitals, to upgrade our infrastructure and future-proof New Zealand.

As a member of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee, I appreciate the importance of supporting our economy, businesses and communities through building and maintaining key infrastructure.

Hamilton’s Labour List MP, Jamie Strange, elaborates on benefits of the $12 billion Infrastructure Upgrade Programme & says “It makes sense to invest in infrastructure now for benefit of future generations.” NewsViews welcomes your comments here below.

The Government is upgrading our roading network right across the country, helping people get to where they need to faster and safer. We’re also investing in public transport, cycle ways, and pedestrian spaces, to make our transport network cleaner and greener.

In the Waikato region, funding has been allocated for a new roundabout at the dangerous intersection between State Highway 1 and State Highway 29, near Piarere. This roundabout will be built on the alignment of a future Waikato Expressway extension. It will be situated in the paddock east of the current intersection in order to futureproof the extension.

New Zealand’s railway network is also being upgraded. Specific improvements that directly benefit the Waikato region are construction of a third rail line in Auckland, a new railway station at Drury, and the extension of electrification from Papakura to Pukekohe.

A cash injection of up to $400,000 has been invested in almost every state school in New Zealand, supporting around 150 Waikato schools. These schools will be able to undertake essential maintenance such as roof replacements and classroom upgrades, ensuring our young people can learn and play in a modern and comfortable environment.

Through the Infrastructure Upgrade Programme, we’re investing in rebuilding and upgrading our hospitals and other health facilities across the country, so all New Zealanders can access high quality health care. Funding has been approved to replace the outdated Henry Rongomau Bennet Centre.

Infrastructure projects announced as part of the Upgrade Programme are just the latest in terms of ‘big builds’ in the Waikato to receive Government support. Others include the new 1300-seat Waikato Regional Theatre, investment in the Peacockes subdivision in Hamilton, completion of the Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway, a sheep milk dryer at Ruakura, and an Alcohol and Drug Court in Hamilton.

We’re making the types of investments that’ll see entire towns and cities benefit; local tradies and businesses, as well as schools and wider communities. And we have this once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest because we’ve managed the books wisely, and interest rates are low. It makes sense to invest in infrastructure now, so future generations can benefit.

Jamie Strange, Labour List MP based in Hamilton

jamie.strange@parliament.govt.nz ; www.facebook.com/jamiestrangemp

Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this column, ViewPoint are the personal opinions of the writer, and do not reflect the views of NewsViews nor does it ascribe to these in any manner.  

Comments are welcome

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